Espai Obert, an alternative service to institutionalization for people with severe psychosocial disabilities.

Espai Obert, an alternative service to institutionalization for people with severe psychosocial disabilities.

Fundació Support-Girona Foundation and Healthcare Assistance Institute (IAS)

Alternative resource to institutionalization for people with severe psychosocial disabilities, which offers them social and health support based on the pact and their free will to use the services of the facility.

It is aimed at people who are in a situation of social exclusion and even homelessness, due to mental and behavioral disorders or substance abuse problems, and who have no family or social support or financial resources,

Espai Obert aims to reduce the stigma of these people and overcome the barriers that stand in the way of their social and community inclusion. The intervention methodology is based on low demand and free use.

As a first phase of intervention, the aim is to cover the basic needs of hygiene and food. Therefore, the service is equipped with a kitchen, living and dining room, washing machines, patio and shower and hygiene areas, and the users participate in the routines of the center (preparing meals, laundry, taking care of the garden…). Once this first phase has been achieved, a bond of trust is built, in order to work on the development, skills and well-being of each person, as well as socialization with other people in the space and other resources in the area.

This pioneering intervention model is one of the tools to be deployed in Catalonia in the process of reconversion and transformation of long-stay psychiatric hospitalization with functional recovery and life project units based on the successful experience of the counties of Girona, where in 2004 the long-stay psychiatric hospital in the former Salt Psychiatric Hospital was closed, generating a network of community mental health and addiction services, with alternative resources.